Nashua Mobile is to offer Nokia handsets with unlimited e-mail, Internet browsing, social networking and instant messaging for a fixed rate of R59/month in a move clearly aimed at Nokia rival Research in Motion, whose BlackBerry smartphones are available on similarly priced unlimited monthly plans.
Nokia SA GM Colin Baumgart says affordable connectivity means the cost of the actual device as well as the cost of the service. He says these new offerings were designed with that in mind and taking into consideration demand for data from both consumers and business users.
The new Nashua plans, called “Xtreme Data”, are available on five Nokia handset models — the C3, X2-01 range, the E5 and E7, and the N8.
Xtreme Data offers access to e-mail, the Web, instant messaging services and social networks via Nokia’s browser, which Nashua says compresses data by up to 90%. Nashua says it is meant for on-device Internet access only, not for tethered use.
Nashua Mobile executive head Tim Walter says the service is positioned as a fixed-cost smartphone data service and an alternative to Research in Motion’s hugely popular BlackBerry Internet Service, better known as BIS.
All traffic passes through Nashua Mobile’s own access point. Walter says there is a fair-use policy but this is only meant to ensure quality of service and there is no restriction on file sizes for download. Transferring excessively large amounts of information will see users warned that they are nearing the fair-use threshold.
In order to keep service quality as high as possible, high-bandwidth services like YouTube are not supported on the Xtreme Data packages. Walter says Nashua is looking to bring additional products to market at a later stage that address the needs of users wanting to stream video and consume large amounts of data beyond basic browsing and communication.
Existing Nashua Mobile contract users with a supported handset can move to the service, while those without can move to the package or upgrade to it at the end of their contract cycle. — Craig Wilson, TechCentral
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